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Brain Boosters

Each week, we share interactive challenges with members of MyAlliance for Brain Health.

Select the date for the most current Brain Booster. Past Brain Boosters are listed in 2024, 2023 or 2022.

Brain Boosters

Week of May 27

On last week's webinar, we talked travel (watch the recording for tips here)! 

Flex your fingers on your keyboard to think of these clever destinations:

  1. What country can you spell using only one row on a standard keyboard? Can you think of a second one?
  2. What world city can you spell using only one row on a keyboard? (Hints: as you figure this out, don't do the first four letters of this capital place's name!) 
  3. What US state can you spell using only one row on a keyboard?
  4. What continent can you spell using only one row on a keyboard?

Another hint: One row of your keyboard is absolutely not involved - think about why!

Answers

  1. PERU. 2nd one: EIRE (another name for IRELAND)
  2. QUITO, the capital city of ECUADOR. Don’t QUIT!
  3. ALASKA
  4. EUROPE

Regarding the hint: the bottom row on your keyboard – Z X C V B N M – has no vowels!

If you’re doing the Brain Booster to train your brain, check out our Weekly Webinar on The Truth about Brain Training on Thursday, May 30 – the link is in your MyAlliance newsletter.

Week of May 20

With summer just a breath away, many will soon get on the road (or the water or in the air) for travel time! This week's Brain Booster is a travel tally. Using the clues below, determine how many miles the Carr family rode the wheels each day of their trip:

On the first 5 days of vacation, the Carr family drove 1,427 miles. They left on Friday, and the minimum and maximum distances for one day's trip were 200 and 355 miles. They arrived at their destination late on Tuesday.

1. Since they left late, they drove the least number of miles on the first day.
2. They drove 105 miles more on the second day than on the first.
3. On Monday they drove the most.
4. On Tuesday they drove 68 miles less than on Saturday.

How many miles did the Carr family ride the wheels each day? 

Hint: it may be helpful to use the clues out of numerical order!

For more about travel, tune in to the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, March 23 to hear travel tips for people experiencing cognitive change and caregivers. The Zoom link is in this newsletter.

Answer

Friday – 200 miles (the family’s minimum distance in one day was 200, and clue 1 says they drove the least number of miles on the first day)

Saturday – 305 miles (the family drove 105 miles more on the second day than on the first; 200 + 105 = 305)

Sunday – 330 miles (the family drove 1,427 miles in total, so if we add up 200 + 305 + 355 + 237 miles we get 330 miles left for Saturday).

Monday – 355 miles (clue 4: On Monday they drove the most, and we know that 355 is their maximum mileage for one day)

Tuesday – 237 miles (on Tuesday they drove 68 miles less than on Saturday, and we know they drove 305 miles on Saturday).

 

Bonus consideration – if you were to leave from your home on a Friday, and drive the same number of miles each day as the Carr Family, where would you be by Tuesday?

Use a map to figure it out (answers will vary – feel free to let us know yours by sending email to myalliance@kumc.edu).

 


Week of May 13

This week's Brain Booster is a chain reaction - your goal is to connect the first word with the last word by making compound words.

Example:
Ball
Game
Some
Time
Table
Ware
House

The words connecting ball and house are:
ballgame
gamesome
sometime
timetable
tableware
warehouse

Your turn! Make the chain between LOW and SHOT. Use the list and number of letters following the first word to guide you. 

LOW
(4) D - - -
(4) F - - -
(3) O - -
(4) S - - -
(4) L - - -
SHOT

Answers:

Lowdown
Downfall
Fallout
Outside
Sidelong
Longshot


Week of May 6

Games and toys are great tools for family fun, reminiscence and brain boosting! This week's Brain Booster is a logic problem featuring toys. Continue the fun with our Mindful Minutes video about Family Games, and participate in our Weekly Webinar about the new Story Connections program at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. 

Abby, Bob, Cindy and Don went to the toy store to get a new toy. They each bought a different toy. They paid a different price for their items. Work out who bought what toy for what price.

Kids: Abby, Bob, Cindy, Don
Toys: Ball, Jump rope, Paper doll, Book
Prices: $1, $1.50, $2, $2.50

1) A boy bought the ball.
2) Cindy paid with a bill and got less than $3 back.
3) The $1 item was made from paper.
4) The boys only brought $1.75 each.
5) The skipping rope was exactly $1 more than the ball.
6) The book was not $2.
7) Someone with an "n" in their name bought the ball.

Use the grid solver here to help you solve. 

If you’d like to check out the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, join us for the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, May 9! We have free museum admission passes to give away – attend the webinar for a chance to win.

For the answers, click here.

Answers:

Abby bought the paper doll for $2

Bob bought the book for $1

Cindy bought the jump rope for $2.50

Don bought the ball for $1.50


Week of April 29

The nose knows!

On last week's Weekly Webinar (see the recording here), Dr. Jennifer Villwock informed us about how smell affects brain health. What a perfect segue into this week's literal Brain Booster!

Close your eyes and try to recreate the following smells. This exercise helps improve your ability to form concrete impressions from memory.

1. A rotten egg
2. Pumpkin pie
3. Wet dog
4. Freshly cut grass
5. A new car

Here's another set of smells: 

1. A ripe orange
2. Hot chocolate
3. A rose
4. A skunk
5. Cigar smoke

How well did you do at recreating the smells?

Answers and experiences will vary with this week's Brain Booster; after all, the nose knows! 

During her presentation, Dr. Villwock mentioned that sudoku is not her favorite brain booster! But if you like that number puzzle, try some here - options range from easy to extreme! The sudoku site will give you the correct answers.

Answers and experiences will vary with this week's Brain Booster; after all, the nose knows! 


Week of April 22

April is National Poetry Month in the United States! In honor of words that paint pictures and arouse aromas, solve these poetic brain boosters:

 

  1. I am a word of meanings three.
    Three ways of spelling me there be.
    The first is an odor, a smell if you will.
    The second some money, but not in a bill.
    The third is past tense, a method of passing things on or around.
    Can you tell me now what these words are that have the same sound?

  

  1. What popular expression is represented here?

    rose = rose = rose = rose

 

Which poet presented it: William Shakespeare, Shel Silverstein, Gertrude Stein or Taylor Swift?

 


Answers

  1. The three words: scent, cent and sent.

 

  1. The expression “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose ” is from the poem “Sacred Emily” by Gertrude Stein. Read the whole thing here.

William Shakespeare’s exact birthdate is not officially known and is often celebrated on April 23 (this week!) around the world – Shakespeare’s Juliet famously said to Romeo, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Shel Silverstein wrote the short poem with a twist, “Ridiculous Rose”

Taylor Swift, who wrote several songs with roses in the lyrics, released a surprise double album this month: The Tortured Poet’s Department / The Tortured Poet’s Department: The Anthology.

We like to think the MyAlliance for Brain Health newsletter and the brain booster enhance, not torture, your day!

Roses are famously fragrant. Tune in to the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, April 25 at 2:00 pm Central time to learn about the relationship between smell and brain health.


Week of April 15

Last week's brain booster - which we happily heard was a real stumper! - turned out to involve US states. This week, in honor of the MAP study for our Weekly Webinar, we'll continue the theme and color the map. Consider this question: 

What is the fewest number of colors you can use to color the states of the USA if no states of the same color can touch? While you think this one through, have a brain-boosting snack made of the rainbow of fruits and vegetables in Today's Tip.

You can see a blank map of the USA here - to solve this problem you can print it and try your hand at coloring. For extra brain boosting, add the names of the states!

Answer:

4 colors.

In fact 4 colors will suffice for any map, real or fabricated. It took more than 100 years for mathematicians to prove this fact.

Read more about the four-color theorem here!


Week of April 8

What is a common thread for the words in the group below, apart from the fact that they are all four letters long?

WINE
LAND
ARKS
DEAL
GAIN
MOOR
SCAR
HIND

Hint: Consider your state of MIND!

Answer:

The words are made up entirely of abbreviations for states in the United States of America.

WI NE = Wisconsin, Nebraska

LA ND = Louisiana, North Dakota

AR KS = Arkansas, Kansas

DE AL = Delaware, Alabama

GA IN = Georgia, Indiana

MO OR = Missouri, Oregon

SC AR = South Carolina, Arkansas

HI ND = Hawaii, North Dakota

 

Boosted Brain Booster:

Come up with more words that could be in this group! (here are two to get you started: COMA (Colorado, Massachusetts); MINE (Michigan, Nebraska). Keep going!

What US states could never be in this group of 4 letter words? (Texas – TX – comes to mind. What else?)

What words of more than 4 letters could you make using two-letter state abbreviations? Here’s one: ARCADE (Arkansas, California, Delaware)


Week of April 1

Happy April 1 – you subscribe to MyAlliance for Brain Health, so you’re no fool! This week’s brain boosters involve words, numbers and of course, some cleverness.

Figure out the word concealed in the following poem. By selecting the right word or letter you will come up with an appropriate word for each clue.

  1. Find all ten words described below. Hint: Adding one doesn’t necessarily mean adding a number!

The first word you'll need
is a tool used to snare.
Reverse and add one:
a dwelling filled with fresh air.

Append the letter H
to find a metric sort of part.
Now change N to E to get
a smile, at its heart.

Tack on an I N G
to make a baby's cross to bear.
Remove the center two
and find a golfer's action there.

Add an S and drop the Es:
A painful bite you'll see.
Add one to the end: you will make
penny-pinching and miserly.

Put first 2 and last 2 out the door,
What's left is really cool.
Only keep the first half of that
And now you find the fool.

  

  1. When called to investigate, the police found that a man had died in his apartment. When they looked up where he worked, they discovered that he earned $3000 for every month he worked with 30 or fewer days and $3500 for every month he worked with 31 days. Today is April 1; how much will he earn by the end of December?

Answers:

  1. NET (a tool used to snare)
    TENT (a dwelling filled with fresh air)
    TENTH (a metric sort of part)
    TEETH (a smile, at its heart)
    TEETHING (what a baby suffers from -- its cross to bear)
    TEEING (a golfer's action)
    STING (A painful bite)
    STINGY (penny-pinching, miserly)
    IN (really cool -- i.e. the in thing)
    I (I am the fool, after all! Don’t take it personally!)

 

$0. He actually won’t earn anything by the end of December – he died on April 1


Week of March 25

On our March 21 Weekly Webinar, retired NASA astrophysicist Dr. David Beier boosted our brains with a series of fun, challenging and often humorous brain games! We're including one of Dr. Beier's brain games for this week's brain booster. Dr. Beier has generously agreed to share his whole presentation with MyAlliance subscribers - if you'd like a copy, send email to myalliance@kumc.edu. Dr. Beier's finger puzzle is incredible!

Here's a fun way to exercise different lobes of  your brain. Count the number of times the number 6 appears below. Now count the total number of times a 3 or a 7 appears as you see them. In other words, don’t just count all the 3s and then all the 7s; count both at the same time as you see either one. For example, the number of times a 3 or a 7  appear in this sample - 763537 - is  4 times.

1234467889974674657865876576576
3576573625432657346578436578342
2732188582735827456724687343828
7672878682768723682376783768267
2647648823178346432764876774653
7436574386581483627868653873465

The important thing here is not so much to get the right answer, but to exercise your frontal and parietal lobes by trying!

The frontal lobes help control thinking, planning, organizing, problem-solving, short-term memory and movement. The parietal lobes help identify objects and understand spatial relationships (where one's body is compared with objects around the person).

Answer:

6 appears 33 times, and the total times the numbers 3 and 7 appear is 59 times.

 

If you’d like a copy of Dr. Beier’s Brain Games presentation, send email to myalliance@kumc.edu.


eek of March 18

Walk this Way!

This week, MyAlliance encourages you to step it up! We're walking the walk with the Brain Booster: 

1. If the world is about 25,000 miles in circumference, now long would it take a person walking the average walking rate (do you know what that it is? Hint: it would take 20 minutes to walk one mile) to walk around the world?

2. True or false: Race walking is one of the newest Olympic sports.

3. Put these countries in order of highest to lowest number of average steps a day for a person and indicate how many steps a day someone living in each place walks:

Australia, Japan, Switzerland, United States

Bonus questions: How long was the longest walk around the world? How long did it take? What was the day job of the walker who accomplished this?

Answer:

1. The average walking rate is 3 miles per hour (1 mile = 20 minutes). Therefore, to calculate walking 25,000 miles:

Divide 25,000 (number of miles) by 3 (miles per hour) to get 8,333.333 hours

Then divide 8,333.333 hours by 24 to get 347 days. Of course, this does assume nonstop walking!

 

2. FALSE – Race walking has been an official Olympic sport for more than 90 years. Watch for competitors race walking anywhere from 1 to 95 miles during the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France!

 

3. Australia – 9,695 steps a day

Switzerland – 9,650 steps a day

Japan – 7,168 steps a day

United States of America – 5,117 steps a day

 

Source: factretriever.com

For the answers to the bonus questions, tune in to our Weekly Webinar on Thursday, March 21 (or watch the recording afterward)!



Week of March 11

March Madness motivates the mind!

For the excitement of March Madness basketball - let's cross our fingers for victory, not defeat for our favorite team - check out Chunking for this week's brain booster. Take 60 seconds to memorize the colors and positions of the basketballs in the accompanying image. After 60 seconds, put the image out of your sight and see if you can duplicate the location of each basketball on a piece of paper - you can draw the basketball in red or blue, or simply write a B for blue and R for red in the spot where it goes. 

How did you do? You'll have your own results to see. For more about chunking and how it boosts the brain, click on the answer link below. If you want more basketball grids (and with Selection Sunday on March 17, lots of us want all the basketball we can get!), send email to myalliance@kumc.edu and we'll dribble you some more!

Answer:

Compare the original image from the MyAlliance newsletter with your 60-seconds-later memory of where the basketballs were.

Chunking is an exercise designed to target executive functioning, specifically planning and inhibition. Think about how you ended up at your final mental plan of locating and identifying where the correct basketballs were.

Chunking refers to memorizing chunks or groups of information rather than remembering individual groups of information. How did you use chunking in this Brain Booster? How could you use chunking in other aspects of your daily life? One way: taking inventory of needed groceries and household goods – chunking could help you remember what you have to buy and what you already have (so, of course, could making a shopping list!).

If you’d like more chunking basketball images to boost your brain during this bouncing, quickly passing month, email myalliance@kumc.edu! Swish – nothing but net!


Week of March 4

This March fourth, take the only date that is also a command - March forth! - and give your brain some forward (fourward?) momentum with this Brain Booster: 

The four sentences in Group A share a special feature. If you correctly identify that common feature, you will find that one of the sentences in Group B also has that same feature. What is the feature? What sentence in Group B can be added to Group A?

Group A:
1. A four watt bulb lacks the necessary brightness.
2.  The ogre enjoyed eating people.
3. The warming rays of the sun also burn.
4. Wings and halos are for angels.

Group B:
1. Always look before you leap.
2 .Cats and dogs are bitter enemies.
3. Girls just want to have fun.
4. Upon seeing the wise bird, we yell owl!
5. My elephant has fleas.
6. The tiger lives in the jungle.

Answer:

Each of the sentences in Group A contain a color formed by the letters of two consecutive words (bulB LACKs, oGRE ENjoyed, warminG RAYs, fOR ANGEls – BLACK, GREEN, GRAY, ORANGE). The fourth sentence in Group B has that characteristic (YELL OW).

Enjoy this Brain Bow of colors!


Week of February 26

A just-once-every-four-years event happens this Thursday: Leap Day! Of course we here at MyAlliance love to leap all year long, and we encourage you to take part in our upcoming LEAP! programming: the Mediterranean diet and Brain Health Boot Camp courses in March and April.

 

To keep your brain leaping, see if you can solve this combination (lock) conundrum, which includes the numbers 2 and 9!

 

Your Leap Day is lucky - you’ve been awarded a lockbox with a prize inside. Determine the combination to open it up.

 

Figuring out what’s special about these numbers will lead you to the combination.

24 24 22 9 9 9 9 22 24 22 9 9.

Hint: just like Leap Day, these numbers have a Roman connection.

 

Answer:

Convert these numbers to some of the 26 letters of the English alphabet and you’ll see they correspond to Roman numerals:

24 = X

22 = V

9 = I

 

Therefore: 24 24 22 9 9 9 9 22 24 22 9 9 = X X V I I I I V X V I I

Spaced so that they are equivalent to Roman numerals, you’ll have XXVIII, IV and XVII

XXVIII = 28

IV = 4

XVII = 17

 

The combination for the locked box is 28  - 4 - 17. Your prize: a lifetime subscription to MyAlliance – priceless!

 

The Roman connection? One story says Roman emperor Julius Caesar created the Year of Confusion when he decided that the year 46 B.C. was going to be 445 days long instead of 365 days long. He then made a 365.25-day year—a tiny bit longer than the 365.2422 solar year—that added a leap day every fourth year.

Source: National Geographic Kids


Week of February 19

Double Duty!

This exercise will help build your mental endurance and concentration. Pick any small number (let’s say 3) and start doubling it in your mind.

3, 6, 12. . .
How far can you get without using a calculator? Pen and paper – or even fingers and toes! – are ok to use.

How many doublings does it take to get to 5 digits? 6? 7?

 

Answers:

3; 6; 12; 24; 48; 96;192; 384; 768; 1536; 3,072; 6,144; 12,288; 24,576; 49,152; 98,304; 196,608; 393,216; 786,432; 1,572,864, 3,145,728

Most people have a hard time once they get past 10 doublings. Practice until you can get up to 20 (the 20th doubling of 3 is 3,145,728).

5 digits = 12 doublings (12,288)

6 digits = 16 doublings (196,608)

7 digits = 20 doublings (3,145,728)

What other interesting patterns can you find? How does doubling look with other start numbers?

To infinity and beyond!


Week of February 12: 

Happy Valentine's Day (Wednesday, February 14)On this special day, we give extra tender loving care to our sweethearts. Give them and your brain lots of love by doing this Brain Booster.

As we go about our daily lives, we are constantly making decisions based on guesses and estimates. This exercise will help you improve your ability to make educated guesses about distance.

When you are estimating each answer, try to pay attention to how you are solving the problem. Are you guessing the whole number or are you trying to calculate it based on smaller guesses? Avoid using a calculator or pen and paper until after you have made your estimate. 

  1. Does that Valentine card you selected promise that you love your love to the moon and back? Do you know exactly how far that is in miles?
  2. Do you pledge to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny when you care for your loved one? How many millimeters long is an AA battery?
  3. Writing a love letter to your darling? What's the thickness of a standard #2 pencil in inches?
  4. You'd say your dear heart makes you feel rich, right? How many $100 bills are in a stack six feet tall? How about a stack of $1 bills six feet tall?

Hint: the answers range from smaller than 1 to more than six digits!

Answers:

  1. The moon is 238, 856 miles away, so a trip there and back would be 466,712 miles
  2. An AA battery is 50.4 millimeters (1.98 inches) long.
  3. A standard #1 pencil is 0.29 inches thick.
  4. A new $100 US bill is 0.0043 inches thick. 6 feet is the equivalent of 72 inches (6x12). 72 divided by 0.0043 = 16,744.186. So a 6-foot high stack of $100 bills would include 16,744 bills, with a tiny bit of space left over. That's $1,674,400. This is assuming the bills are brand new because as they get worn through use, they tend to fluff out, making them slightly thicker. Presumably a 6-foot high stack of $1 bills would be about the same height if the bills are approximately the same thickness. Their value, however, would be $16,744 (100 times less!)


Week of February 5

Swift has been a popular name around these parts lately, so for this week's Brain Booster, let's do some Tom Swifty puns. A Tom Swifty is a play on words, also known as a pun. 

Tom's sentence is quoted, and the description of the way he is said to speak is a pun. Both meanings of the pun could be true. For example: "I'm working as fast as I can, but the boat is still taking on water," said Tom balefully. Balefully refers to his tone of speaking, and also to his action (bailing).

Choose one of the listed words below to fill each blank in the following sentences:

1. "The bank must not want my money," said Tom ___________.

2. "Camping is fun," said Tom __________.

3. "The inmate escaped jail down a bed-sheet rope," said Tom ___________.

4. "I put out the blazing jack-o-lantern," said Tom __________.

5. "I'm definitely taller since I started taking this strange potion," said Tom __________.

6. "The surgeon removed my left ventricle," said Tom __________.

Your word choices are:
delightedly
unaccountably
gruesomely
intently
condescendingly
half-heartedly

Answers:

  1. unaccountably (un-account)
    2. intently (in-tent)
    3. condescendingly (con-descending)
    4. delightedly (de-lighted)
    5. gruesomely (grew-some)
    6. half-heartedly (half-hearted)

 

For more brain boosting, think of your own Tom Swifty sentences, said MyAlliance – they can be tailored swiftly to your liking!


Week of January 29

Sitting ducks: there are two ducks in front of a duck, two ducks behind a duck and a duck in the middle. How many ducks are there?

Hint: consider that there could be more than one correct answer to this one. Having one’s ducks in a row is a good idea!

 

Answer:

There are three ducks  (imagine these are ducks: * * *) – exactly two ducks are in front of the last duck; the first duck has exactly two ducks behind it; one duck is between the other two.

Boost to the Booster: Some quacky thoughts: this one actually could have more than one answer!

The answer of three is correct, and so is five (* * * * * - there are [at least] two ducks in front of the last duck, and the first duck has [at least] two ducks behind it and there is one duck in the middle. You could expand this to 7 ducks or 9 or really any odd number greater than 1. It also sort of works with an even number greater than two,  (****) but the duck in the middle fouls it up since there’s not a true middle duck with the same number of ducks in front of it and behind it.  

Hey, if you solved this one, you took to it like a duck to water. If not, no worries, let it roll off like water off a duck’s back. Either way, you’re a lucky duck. All puns intended!


Week of January 22, 2024

In each row, change the first letter of the two words to a different letter (the same letter for both) to form two new words. Write the new letter in the blank. What word is formed vertically by the new letters?

Hint: The new words don’t necessarily rhyme with the original ones.

E N D E R  _  A N I O N

D E B U T  _  P A T I O

N A V E L  _  E L A N D

A E R I E  _   S L O P E

 

Answer:

URGE

(new words: under, union; rebut, ratio; gavel, gland; eerie, elope)

 

Source: 365 Brain Puzzlers (an Official Mensa® Calendar) by Fraser Simpson

Good job satisfying the urge to solve this Mensa® level brain booster! For more, see if you can think of more word pairs and letter changes.


Week of January 15, 2024

Guess that Number

Using the clues below, figure out what the correct number is.

1. 100 is larger than the number.
2. The number is larger than 30.
3. The number is a multiple of 6.
4. The sum of the number’s digits is 9.
5. The digit in the tens place is larger than the digit in the ones place. (example: in the number 913, the 9 is in the hundreds place, 1 is in the tens place and 3 is in the ones place)
6. The difference between number’s digits is 1.

 

Answer:

The number is 54.

-Clues 1 and 2: The number is less than 100 and larger than 30, so we know it is a number between 31 and 99

-Clue 3: The number is a multiple of 6 (the possibilities are 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78, 84, 90 and 96)

-Clue 4: The sum of the digits is 9. Now the possibilities are 36, 54, 72 and 90

-Clue 5: The digit in the tens place is larger than the digit in the ones place. Now the possibilities are 54, 72 and 90.

-Clue 6: The difference between the number’s digits is 1, so the only correct answer is 54 (5-4=1)

 

Bonus things to consider for brain boosting:

Do you need all six of these clues to figure out the answer?

Do you have to use the clues in the order they are given to arrive at the correct answer?

If you didn’t, would you arrive at the answer faster or slower?

Can you think of another number and another set of clues to arrive at that number?

 


Week of January 8, 2024

In this new year, one word below has got to go!

Which word below is the odd one out and why?

showed
history
sidewalk
antelope
building
numbest

Answer:

 

sidewalk

Within all of the other words, there are two words which overlap with each other such that the last letter of the first word is also the first letter of the second word:

shoWed includes shoW and Wed
hiStory includes hiS and Story
antElope includes antE and Elope
builDing includes builD and Ding
numBest includes numB and Best

 

Speaking of words that must go, have you seen Lake Superior State University’s 2024 list of banished words? Check it out here and see if you agree, or if there are any you would add. In defense of one word on the list, rizz – it’s also Oxford Dictionary’s 2023 word of the year.

 

Answer:

Sidewalk doesn’t fit the pattern!                                                 

 

Bonus Brain Booster: challenge yourself to think of more words that do fit the pattern. How many can you compile (that’s one!)?

Week of December 18

First, a correction: thanks to you boosted brains who noticed the error in the December 11, 2023 Brain Booster.  XIBT in the first word of the clue should have been XIBU.

Apologies for that slip of the finger – it’s heartening to know you’re paying great attention as you solve these!

This week’s puzzle (triple checked for accuracy!):

Look at the below set of words and cross off each set of words that are described. When you are finished, read the words that you have NOT crossed off. Go from left to right and top to bottom to find the answer to this riddle:

Where do you mail bread?

RAINY

AT

FINE

NEWSPAPER

MAGAZINE

JEANS

TAXI

TURTLE

MILK

BOOK

JUICE

THE

DINE

TOAST

FROG

NEXT

LIZARD

LINE

OFFICE

SUNNY

SHIRT

CLOUDY

NINE

COAT

Cross off

  • 3 things to wear
  • 2 things to drink
  • 4 words that rhyme with MINE
  • 2 words that have the letter X in them
  • 3 green creatures
  • 3 things to read
  • 3 weather words

 

Answers

Where do you wear bread? At the toast office!

3 things to wear: JEANS, SHIRT, COAT

2 things to drink: MILK, JUICE

4 words that rhyme with MINE: FINE, DINE, LINE, NINE

2 words that have an X in them: TAXI, NEXT

3 green creatures: TURTLE, FROG, LIZARD

3 things to read: NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE, BOOK

3 weather words: RAINY, SUNNY, CLOUDY


Week of December 11

Change each letter in the puzzle below to a different one to reveal a riddle and its answer.

 

XIBT EP CFFT MJLF UP DIFX?

 

CVNCMF HVN.

 

Hints: Alphabetical order matters, and while the letter A does appear in the answer, it’s not in the puzzle. What each letter stands for will be the same throughout the puzzle.

Answers

Change each letter to the one that comes right before it in the alphabet. So XIBU = WHAT

What do bees like to chew?

Bumble gum.


Week of December 4

Don’t put your brain in Jeopardy! Put your money where your mouth is (and join us for the 12/7 Weekly Webinar on oral care)! Provide the questions for these answers from a Jeopardy! category called Tricky Questions (11/17/2023 episode):

$200 – Just before Mount Everest was discovered, this was the highest mountain in the world.

$400 – If you enter a room with a matchbook and a candle, oil lamp and heater are in the room, this is what you’d light first.

$600 – It’s the 11-letter word all Canadians pronounce incorrectly.

$800 – If a British farmer has 22 sheep and all but 9 die in a tragic shearing incident, this is how many sheep the farmer has left.

$1000 – It’s the main reason in Kansas that a man can’t marry his widow’s sister.

Answers

$200 – What is Mount Everest?

$400 – What is the match?

$600 – What is “incorrectly”?

$800 – What is 9?

$1000 – What is he’s dead?

How’d you do – are you the next Jeopardy! champion?


Week of Novmeber 27

Check out the photo identification quiz here.

You will see a picture with only a small piece revealed. Can you identify the object in the photo?

 

Answers

Photos and answers will vary – the quiz site offers hints, and you get two tries before the site reveals the answer. Play as many times as you like, and your eyes and brain will get a good workout!


Week of Novmeber 13

Detect the Pattern

 

Looking at these numbers:

1=3

4=4

8=5

12=6

1. Which set of numbers matches the pattern? 

  1. 17=7
  2. 13=8
  3. 14=7

2. Which number comes next in this group?

11, 69, 88

  • 101
  • 127
  • 93

3. What number comes next in this group?

8723, 3872, 2387

  • 3278
  • 7238
  • 8327

As you come up with the correct answers, make sure you show your work – explain how you got there!

Answers

  1. b. 13=8 (thirteen has eight letters; 1 has 3; 4 has four; 8 has five and 12 has six)
  2. a. 101 (all four numbers the same right side up and upside down)
  3. b. 7238 (to continue the pattern, move the last number to the front)


Week of Novmeber 6

Letter perfect – boost your brain with these puzzles starring letters (including, of course, the letter YWhy? We invite you to watch our film Thursday, November 9 on the Weekly Webinar)

Why do these letters sound familiar? B M = 2 A B P, S S, L, C, P, O on a S S B

Hint: It’s a jingle for something that might make you say, “I’m lovin’ it!”

An interview was conducted to test the structure, usage and competence of the letters in the English alphabet. To do this, each letter was interviewed for one hour in sequence and the interview was expected to take a whole day. Letter A was the first, then B, C, D, etc., until letter X, which rounded off the interview. Why were the letters Y and Z left out?

Bonus question (for fun, brainstorming and creativity!): Starting with the word Why, what would the rest of the title of a movie about your life be?

Answers

B M = 2 A B P, S S, L, C, P, O on a S S B stands for Big Mac = 2 all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun

Bet you’re singing along! Check out this vintage McDonald’s commercial featuring the jingle.

There are 24 hours in a day and 26 letters in the English alphabet. Each letter is allotted one hour. Therefore, letters Y and Z could not be interviewed; once 24 hours had passed, the interviewers could only complete interviews up to the letter X. Y is the 25th letter of the alphabet, and Z is the 26th. Don’t leave Y out of your life – join us Thursday, November 9 for a showing of Why on our weekly webinar, followed by a discussion of the film

Bonus question – answers will vary! Answer for Kelly G. Loeb, MSW, Community Engagement Coordinator: Why I Always Include the G (Reason: it’s in honor and memory of my grandmother Grace, who had Alzheimer’s disease.)


Week of October 30

Feeling inspired by today's tip? Working on each week's Brain Booster is a great hobby! This week, try your hand at figuring out 7 Little Words.

How to Play:

Find 7 words to match 7 clues

Find the 7 words in any order.

Use each letter set only once.

Example - 

If the clue is deep fried treats, the letter combination for the answer is

DO + NU + TS = DONUTS

Clues:

1. bosses

2. Wisconsin baseball team

3. holey cheese

4. relaxing

5. sets in a location

6. made a call to 

7. core of the matter

Letter sets: 

TEL      NGI     ISS     ING

SW       ED      UX      CES

EW      HON     ER      EP

SUP     ERS     ORS    VIS

LOU    PLA       BR      CR

Play more 7 Little Words puzzles here

Answers

Bosses = Supervisors
Wisconsin Baseball Team = Brewers
Holey cheese = Swiss
Relaxing = Lounging
Sets in a location = Places
Made a call to = Telephoned
Core of the Matter = Crux


Week of October 23

This week's webinar is alive with The Sound of Music! Join us on Thursday to hear Dr. Rebecca Lepping tell us about the benefits of music for people living with dementia. 

This week's Brain Booster - one of our favorite things - is inspired by The Sound of Music. You may not know how to solve a problem like Maria, but you can answer these!

1. What letter comes next in the following sequence?

D R M F S L T _

2. A family (large like the Von Trapp family) has two parents and six sons. Each of the sons has one sister. How many people are in the family?

3. Captain Von Trapp often tells his children to quit doing things. Keeping that in mind, which word logically comes next in this sequence?

Spot, Tops, Pots, Opts, ____

Answers

1. D for Do

The sequence is Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do

Bonus: Can you sing the lyrics Maria uses to teach the Von Trapp children to sing?

Do (doe), a deer, a female deer

Re (ray), a drop of golden sun

Mi (me), a name I call myself

Fa (far), a long, long way to run

So (sew), a needle pulling thread

La, a note to follow So

Ti (tea), a drink with jam and bread

That will bring us back to Do!

2. There are nine people in this family: two parents, six sons, and one daughter!

3. STOP. All the words are anagrams of each other. Captain Von Trap frequently tells his children to stop singing, stop playing, stop laughing. Maria and the children eventually win him over!

 


Week of October 16

This week’s webinar will address driving, dementia, and strategies for keeping everyone safe. Try out the brain-boosting driving dilemma and logic problem at

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/dec/04/can-you-solve-it-this-traffic-teaser-will-drive-you-to-distraction

Don’t let it drive you crazy!

Answers

Akira 5, Basho 1, Chie 4, Daichi 2 and Etsu 3.

The steps for solving this one are included in detail in the article. Did you go the extra mile or put on the brakes?

 


Week of October 9

This week's tip talks about making connections between fruits and vegetable. Our brain booster encourages you to make connections between words.

Using a of words, create four groups of four words that have one thing in common:

Example:

fire trucks, apples, stop signs, ketchup

The four things above are all red!

Here's a list of 16 words:

Water, Afghan, Converse, Jabber, Speech, Angora, Lead, Chat, Jordan, Alpaca, Trial, Yak, Vans, Blather, Puma, Gab

Hints:

Some words have more than one pronunciation, and that can change their meeting

Categories will always be more specific than names or 5-letter words or verbs.

Each puzzle has exactly one solution. Watch out for words that seem to belong to multiple categories!

If you enjoyed this brain booster, you can solve more like it - there's a new Connections word puzzle daily in the New York Times.

Answers

Afghan, Alpaca, Angora, Yak = long-haired animals

Converse, Jordan, Puma, Vans = sneaker brands

Blather, Chat, Gab, Jabber = ways of talking

Lead, Speech, Trial, Water = types of balloons


Week of October 2

"I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October." - Charmaine J. Forde.

At the KU ADRC, we really like Mondays, when we deliver your MyAlliance newsletter! Thursdays are great too, when we gather for the Weekly Webinar. We think Charmaine J. Forde, author, poet  and singer, is right on about Saturdays and October too!

Boost your brain by answering these questions about October:

  1. Six US Presidents were born in October, more than in any other month. How many can you name?                                                                                                                        
  1. One of the six US Presidents born in October is from our area - who is he? (Bonus: there's another US president from across the state line - who is he and when was he born?)
  2. Live long and prosper - more people in this age group are born in fall (including October) than in any other season. What age are they?

Answers

1. The six US Presidents born in October are

  • John Adams
  • Rutherford Hayes
  • Chester Arthur
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • Jimmy Carter

2. Dwight Eisenhower, from Abilene, Kansas. Bonus answer: Harry S Truman, born May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri.

3. 100+ - they are centenarians!

 


Week of September 18

Today's tip prompts you to check out some new music. This week's Brain Booster shows you that the oldies but goodies get your toes tapping too!  Belt out the lyrics to the songs below and earn a point for each one whose artist and singer you can name. Extra points if you sing the choruses too!

1. Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you've got to do is call

And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah

 

2. But what it is

Is something true

Made up of these three words

That I must say to you 

 

3. Let us realize

That a change can only come

When we stand together as one

(By the way, all of us at the KU ADRC dedicate these songs to all of you!)

Answers

  1. You’ve Got a Friend by James Taylor (by the time you read this, fall will be just days away!)
  2. I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder (we feel this way on World Alzheimer’s Day and always)
  3. We are the World by USA for Africa (as other lyrics in the song say, we are the ones who make a brighter day – and we are working on empowering the whole world with good brain health!)

 


Week of September 11

This week’s puzzle calls upon your vocabulary, spelling, strategy and logic skills, plus a dose of patience! Here is a group of 20 common three-letter words. Take these 20 words and turn them into 10 six-letter words.

Each three-letter word is used only once.

Word List:

act, age, bed, can, cat, cud, dam, did, don, dot, for, gel, get, ion, lam, nap, out, par, pen, rag

Hint 1: Saying the words out loud can help you combine the words.

Hint 2: One word is the opposite of remember.

Bonus: What additional words can you make, using some of the three-letter words more than once?

Answers

  1. action
  2. bedlam
  3. candid
  4. catnap
  5. cudgel
  6. dampen
  7. dotage
  8. forget (the opposite of remember)
  9. pardon
  10. ragout

 

Bonus words:

  1. cation
  2. damage
  3. forage
  4. outact
  5. outage
  6. outdid

 

Did you find any others? Did you notice that age combines with the most words?

 


Week of September 4

Happy September! This new month brings a new season – autumn, with its cooler temperatures, colorful trees and chances to celebrate our team spirit.

For this week’s Brain Boosters, we’re bringing you some new fun facts and dates to remember:

1. Which one is not happening in September?

    1. Read a New Book Month
    2. International Square Dancing Month
    3. National Piano Month
    4. National Pizza Month

2. Elephants are said to have good memories. What other animal also has exceptional recall? Hints: it’s usually green, can grow to as long as 6 feet, and, in some varieties, has three eyes?

3. True or false: National Be Late for Something Day and Fight Procrastination Day are the same day.

Answers

D) National Pizza Month is actually in October – a treat to go along with Halloween tricks!

The iguana! Since 1998, National Iguana Day is observed on Friday, September 8. The iguana’s good memory is essential for its survival in the wild, including remembering where to find food and water and the location of their mate and offspring.  Their intelligence helps them be good problem solvers. Source: https://biobubblepets.com/3-reasons-why-iguanas-have-an-amazing-memory/

False. National Be Late for Something Day is September 5 and Fight Procrastination Day is September 6. Whether you celebrate one, both or neither, don’t be late for or procrastinate attending our Weekly Webinar on Thursday, September 7 – see details in this issue of MyAlliance Monday!

 


Week of August 28

Brain Booster

This week we get to ask the expert! Dr. Russell Swerdlow, director of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, will take your questions about brain health, dementia diagnosis, prevention and treatment and clinical trials on the August 31 session of our Weekly Webinar.

Not only will Dr. Swerdlow’s answers to our questions enrich our cognition, this week’s Brain Boosters are a great way to pump things up.

Part 1: Try your hand (and your mind) at figuring out what item is the answer to these 20 clues describe. How many clues will you use?

  1. I am in every city and town.
  2. You can join my club.
  3. I am sometimes found on the corner.
  4. I sometimes have a healthy theme.
  5. I have checkers, but no chess.
  6. I am full of vitamins and minerals.
  7. With me it’s always in the bag.
  8. My diapers are always clean.
  9. I usually have my own parking.
  10. I can be open 24 hours a day.
  11. I’m not a bar, but I offer plenty to drink.
  12. I’m not a link, but I can be part of a chain.
  13. Everything registers with me.
  14. My sales have nothing to do with sailing.
  15. I don’t produce produce, but I have plenty of it.
  16. In 2020, I was considered an essential business.
  17. You can check yourself out here.
  18. Mr. Hooper owns one of my kind.
  19. My meat can be fresh, frozen or canned.
  20. I honor coupons.

Part 2: See if you can stump 20Q! This site - http://www.20q.net/ -   invites you to play 20 Questions by thinking of an object, and it will attempt to figure out what’s on your mind within 20 questions.

Part 3: Send in your questions for Dr. Swerdlow’s Ask the Expert webinar to myalliance@kumc.edu. We will keep the questions anonymous. Tune in to the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, August 31 at 2:00 pm Central to hear the answers!

 

Answers

Part 1: I am a grocery store!

Part 2: Answers will vary – were you able to stump the site?

Part 3: Hear Dr. Swerdlow’s answers to your questions on the Weekly Webinar on August 31!

 


Week of August 21

Brain Booster:

In August 1988 - 35 years ago - then-President Ronald Reagan proclaimed August 21 to be National Senior Citizens Day! You may not have been a senior then (or now), but we can all honor older adults for the expertise, perspective and care they share. 

In honor of this special day - and ahead of our weekly webinar on honorable aging -  boost your brain by answering these questions:

1) What age do you have to be to be a senior/older adult?

  1. a) 50
  2. b) 55
  3. c) 60
  4. d) 62
  5. e) 65
  6. f) 15 years older than you currently are
  7. g) Any or all of the above

2) What age did the oldest person to have ever lived reach?

3) True or false: dementia is a normal part of aging.

Bonus question: what are some tips for healthy aging? 

Answers:

  1. g: any or all of the above! At age 50, you can join AARP and receive discounts, services and other benefits; at 55, many retailers offer senior discounts. Once you’re age 60, the federal Older Americans Act (https://ncoa.org/advocates/public-policy/issues/aging-services/older-americans-act) means you can receive supportive services like home-delivered meals, in-home care, caregiver support, job training and more. Social Security retirement benefits can begin at age 62 (some people may choose to delay them in order to eventually receive more money).  Medicare eligibility starts at 65 for most people. And if none of these resonate with you, you can designate any year you like!
  2. Jeanne Louise Calment is the oldest verified person to have ever lived. The Frenchwoman lived to be 122 years and 164 days old. She was born on February 21, 1875 and passed away at age 122 on August 4,  1997.
  3. False. Dementia (of the Alzheimer or any other type) is not a normal part of aging.

Bonus question: Join our weekly webinar on Thursday, August 24 to hear from Dr. Jaime Perales Puchalt about honorable aging, check out our LEAP! programming and stay tuned to MyAlliance for Brain Health to receive tips for healthy aging. 


Week of August 14

Brain Booster:

In recognition of our upcoming Why showings, boost your brain by figuring out which of these Y words is the correct one. If you get it, you’re a real wise guy!

 

Casey is used to multiple spellings of her name (Kaci, Kaycee, and of course KC!). She makes sure to be sincere as she very carefully spells it out: "C for chaos, A for arpeggio, S for scenery, E for empty, Y for ____."

Which of the following words is she most likely to select to help with Y?

Young
Youth
Yacht
Yikes
Yahoo

 

Answer:

Youth

All of Casey’s choices of helpful words sound as if they begin with another letter - K-os, R-peggio, C-nery, M-pty ... and so, U-th!

 

A word to the wise: join us for an upcoming screening of Why and for our August 17 webinar featuring the KU School of Medicine Center for Clinical Research, co-sponsor of our Wichita Why screening!


Week of August 7
Memory is a great artist. - Andre Maurois

It's rhyme time! Find a rhyme for each word below so you end up with a familiar three-word phrase in the form __, __, [and] __.

Example:
Clue = Cook, Wine, Drinker
Answer = Hook, Line, and Sinker

1. Won, Dune, Cars (hint: look up)
2. Wed, Night, Two (hint: find a flag)
3. Wraith, Soap, Clarity (hint: three good things)
4. Steak, Cattle, Sole (hint: feel the earth move)
5. Find, Field, Shivered (hint: stamped, too)
6. Blast, Pheasant, Suture (time flies)

Boost your brain even more - come up with additional rhyming phrases!

Bonus booster: at least three of these are also the titles of classic songs – do you know which?

Answers:

  1. Sun, Moon and Stars
  2. Red, White and Blue
  3. Faith, Hope and Charity (bonus booster: this is also the title of a song recorded by Don Cornell in the 1950s…perhaps by others too!)
  4. Shake, Rattle and Roll  (bonus booster: several versions of this song move us, including recordings by Elvis Presley, Big Joe Turner and Bill Haley and His Comets)
  5. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (bonus booster: a Stevie Wonder classic…and this newsletter is signed, sealed, delivered: it’s yours!)
  6. Past, Present and Future


Week of July 31

Memory is a great artist. - Andre Maurois

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. - Georgia O'Keefe

August is for art! As we move into a new month, we're exploring the power of art to move our minds, hearts and souls. This week's brain booster draws on art - answer these riddles:

  1. I am a kind of coat that can only be put on when wet. What am I?
  2. How do you inspire an artist?
  3. What do you call an artist who sculpts with bicycle parts?

Answers:

  1. Paint
  2. Easel-y
  3. CYCLE-angelo


Week of July 24

It's game time! This week's Mindful Minutes video talks about family games and how they can be marvelously meaningful for together time. The next session of our Family Series (Thursdays, July 27 and August 3 from 4:00 to 5:30 at the KU Clinical Research Center, 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205) addresses activities and suggestions foengagement (including board games!) with a person experiencing cognitive change.

In keeping with this theme, boost your brain by taking this board game trivia quiz - it promises you won't be board out of your mind, and it'll give you some fun memories and motivation for games to play.

Answer:
Answers are immediately below each question on the trivia quiz website. Which board game is your favorite?


Week of July 17

This week we’re watching wise words! Our Mindful Minutes video talks about why words matter and therapeutic shifts in communication for care partners. The next session of our Family Series (Thursdays, July 20 and 27 and August 3 from 4:00 to 5:30 at the KU Clinical Research Center, 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205) addresses behavior in and communication with a person experiencing cognitive change.

 

In keeping with this theme, boost your brain by seeing how many wonderful words of 2 to 11 letters you can make using the letters

 

C O M M U N I C A T I O N

 

Answer:

Answers will vary! This website (https://wordfinder.yourdictionary.com/unscramble/communication/) will show you 360 words using those letters. How many did you think of?


Week of July 10

Let's have some fun with serious series! To highlight our upcoming Family Series for Family Caregivers, boost your brain by putting these things in the correct order: 

  1. Arrange these Roman numerals in order of value, from smallest to largest: C, D, L, M
  2. Put these states in order of area, from largest to smallest: California, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma
  3. List these inventions in order, from earliest to latest: diesel engine, hovercraft, battery, jeans

Bonus: in which order will our Family Series Topics be?

Why is He Acting this Way?

Help Me Understand

How Do I Keep Doing This?

She Just Sits Around All Day

 

Answers:

  1. L – 50, C – 100, D – 500, M – 1,000
  2. California (158,648 square miles), Montana (147,047 square miles), Oklahoma (69,903 square miles), Georgia (58,390 square miles)
  3. Battery (1799), Jeans (1850), Diesel Engine (1892), Hovercraft (1955)
  4. Bonus – Help Me Understand, Why Is He Acting This Way, She Just Sits Around All Day, How Do I Keep Doing This?

 

Join us for the Family Series on Thursdays, July 13, 20 and 27 and August 3! Attend any or all of the sessions, which will be held at 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205.


Week of July 3:

This week we’re focusing on food, glorious food! Boost your brain (and stimulate your appetite?) with this logic puzzle about the most important meal of the day – breakfast.

Five roommates eat breakfast at different times in the morning; each with their own breakfast preferences. Using the clues, match the roommate to the weekday they ate their preferred breakfast food, and at what time.

Clues:

  1. Charles recently started a high-protein diet at the beginning of his three-day weekend.
  2. The last person to eat breakfast in the morning is either Daniel or the person who eats French toast.
  3. Brittany didn’t even have time for her English muffin on Wednesday or Thursday.
  4. The cereal was eaten Tuesday morning.
  5. Charles ate a half-hour before Brittany.
  6. Daniel likes to make his special breakfast in the middle of the week.
  7. The pancakes were eaten at the latest time of the morning.
  8. Adam only has time for a bowl of cereal as he has an early class and must leave before everyone else.
  9. Eva likes to eat breakfast in the middle of the morning.

There’s a handy grid for solving this puzzle (and some instructions for doing so) here: https://www.ahapuzzles.com/logic/logic-puzzles/most-important-meal-of-the-day/

You can also download a PDF to print to solve on paper.

Pro tip: after solving the brain booster, join us for a cooking demonstration highlighting the Therapeutic Diets in Alzheimer’s Disease study, hosted by Jessica Keller, MS, RDN, LD, on Friday, July 7 at 1:00 pm at the KU ADRC Clinical Research Center, 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS. Register to attend here (seating is limited): https://bit.ly/kuadrc_tdad.

Can’t make it then? Watch a video of a previous cooking demonstration here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9DE3q8lwKM

 

Brain Booster Answer:

Adam ate cereal at 7:00 am on Tuesday

Brittany ate an English muffin at 7:45 am on Monday

Charles ate scrambled eggs at 7:15 am on Friday

Daniel ate pancakes at 8:00 am on Wednesday

Eva ate French toast at 7:30 am on Thursday

Let's have some fun with serious series! To highlight our upcoming Family Series for Family Caregivers, boost your brain by putting these things in the correct order: 

  1. Arrange these Roman numerals in order of value, from smallest to largest: C, D, L, M
  2. Put these states in order of area, from largest to smallest: California, Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma
  3. List these inventions in order, from earliest to latest: diesel engine, hovercraft, battery, jeans

Bonus: in which order will our Family Series Topics be?

Why is He Acting this Way?

Help Me Understand

How Do I Keep Doing This?

She Just Sits Around All Day

 

Brain Booster Answers:

  1. L – 50, C – 100, D – 500, M – 1,000
  2. California (158,648 square miles), Montana (147,047 square miles), Oklahoma (69,903 square miles), Georgia (58,390 square miles)
  3. Battery (1799), Jeans (1850), Diesel Engine (1892), Hovercraft (1955)
  4. Bonus – Help Me Understand, Why Is He Acting This Way, She Just Sits Around All Day, How Do I Keep Doing This?

 

Join us for the Family Series on Thursdays, July 13, 20 and 27 and August 3! Attend any or all of the sessions, which will be held at 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205.


Week of June 26:

Happy Summer! Last Wednesday, June 21 marked the longest day of the year and the summer solstice. Summer days can be sunshiny, long and hot. Cool your brain with these brain boosters about some of the longest things in the world:

What is the longest river in the world?

What is the longest animal in the world?

What is the longest word in the English language?

What is the longest book in the world?

What is the longest officially released song in the world?

Don't short yourself - click here for the answers! 

Answer:

Longest river: The Nile (4,157 miles / 6,690 kilometers)

Longest animal: the Blue Whale (98 feet / 29.9 meters)

Longest English word: pneumoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (45 letters); it’s a disease, more commonly known as silicosis, that results from breathing in volcano dust

Longest book: A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu (The Remembrance of Things Past, in English) by Marcel Proust (1.3 million words, 2400 pages)

Longest officially released song: “Shri Ram Charit Manas” by Dr. Jagadeesh Pillai of India (138 hours, 41 minutes, 20 seconds; certified by the Guinness Book of World Records on April 12, 2023)


Week of June 19:

You've been inspired! After participating in this week's Weekly Webinar (and watching some of our other recordings about exercise, fitness and brain health), you might consider getting a book about physical activity from the library or bookstore. But if you see a book with How to Jog printed on its spine, you actually shouldn’t check it out. Why not?

Answer:

How to Jog is an encyclopedia volume (remember those?)! It simply carries entries of words that begin with How to words that begin with Jog. For the best brain health benefits and boosters, definitely keep reading the MyAlliance newsletter each week for lots of great tips on fitness, food and finding about advances in research.


Week of June 12:

Is it a hit or a myth?

Decide if the following statements are true or false:

  1. You are born with all the neurons your brain will ever have.
  2. You cannot learn new things when you are old, also described as “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
  3. Dementia is an inevitable consequence of old age.

 For some hints on what’s right and wrong (and more on how to engage your brain), read the article linked in today’s tip: Engage Your Brain GCBH Recommendations on Cognitively Stimulating Activities doi.org.10.26419%2Fpia.00001.001 (aarp.org)

Answer:

They’re all false these myths are misses! See the Global Council on Brain Health article here: Engage Your Brain GCBH Recommendations on Cognitively Stimulating Activities doi.org.10.26419%2Fpia.00001.001 (aarp.org) for more information.


Week of June 5:

June is here - give your brain a jump start with this brain booster:

In the following list, the words are out of order (the correct order is NOT alphabetical). Can you figure out the pattern and put them in the proper order?

A. Leaf
B. Part
C. Mitt
D. Corn
E. Saw

  

Bonus Booster: Once you figure out the answers, can you think of more words that would fit this pattern?

 

Answer:

The words, when combined with the placement letter, form new words.

A. Corn (Acorn)
B. Leaf (Belief)
C. Saw (See-Saw)
D. Part (Depart)
E. Mitt (Emit)

 

Bonus Booster Answers: Once you figure out the answers, can you think of more words that would fit this pattern?

 

Here’s what Weekly Webinar Host Kelly G. Loeb came up with:

  1. Fort (Effort)
  2. Con (Icon)
  3. Hawk (obviously, JAYHAWK, of course!)
  4. Bull (Cable)
  5. Bow (Elbow)

 

Note: G and H stumped Kelly – did you think of one for those? Or other letters of the alphabet?


Week of May 22:

Monday, May 29 marks Memorial Day, a time we remember and honor our loved ones - especially those who served our country. This week's Brain Booster focuses on memories in music (which is known to be a boon to brain health). Name the crooners who belted out these harmonious hits!

The Way We Were

I Will Remember You

Reflections

Dance with My Father 

In My Life

Remember the Time

Bonus Booster: Think of more songs about memories. What are your favorites? Turn up your radio or streaming service, put the needle on a 45, pop in a cassette, spin a CD or grab a karaoke mic and sing along!

Answer:

Barbra Streisand

Sarah McLachlan

The Supremes

Luther Vandross

The Beatles

Michael Jackson

Bonus: The possibilities are endless – enjoy the tunes! 


Week of May 22:

This week we’re giving you tips on advocating for yourself and a loved one, and speaking up for what you need. Our brain boosters will have you thinking about speaking – raise your voice and give them a try!

A worker went into the office one day and spoke only Italian. Everyone could understand what the worker was saying and didn’t have any problems understanding. It was a perfectly normal day. How? Why?

I have no voice, yet I speak to you,

I tell of all things in the world that people do.

I have leaves, but I am not a tree.

I have a spine and hinges, but I am not a human or door

I have told you all – I cannot tell you more.

What am I?

Two speakers are on an upcoming schedule. Using the list of presenters below, identify which of them will talk today and which tomorrow.

Hint: the answer is a common idiom.

Today’s Speakers:

  • Professor Present
  • Representative Right
  • Honorable Here

Tomorrow’s Speakers:

  • Lecturer Later
  • General Gone
  • Faculty Future
Answer:

    The worker was in Italy!

    A book

    Honorable Here and General GoneHere today and gone tomorrow!


    Week of May 15:

    Prepare to be a-MAZEd by this week's Brain Booster! To align with our Weekly Webinar about Seeking Clarity in the Labyrinth, this week's challenge is to find your way through a maze. 

    This website has lots of mazes from easy to hard - you can do them on your device or print them and use a pen or pencil. If you do one on your device, the website will tell you how much time you took and how many steps you made. On one practice run of a medium-level maze for the MyAlliance team, it took 79 seconds and 170 steps. How will you do?

    Do you know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?

    Answers:

      Solutions to the maze you choose to do will vary depending on which maze you pick and which path(s) you take. Enjoy challenging and boosting your brain!

      LABYRINTHS ARE UNICURSAL*, WHILE MAZES ARE BRANCHING.

      Though the terms are often used interchangeably, mazes and labyrinths have slightly different definitions. Officially, the word maze refers to a collection of branching paths, through which the traveler must find the correct route. Labyrinth, meanwhile, refers to a pathway which, while winding and potentially disorienting, is non-branching, and leads directly to its endpoint.

       

      *Unicursal describes something that has a single continuous path or line.

       

      Source: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70964/15-intricate-facts-about-mazes


      Week of May 8:

      Brain Booster:

      As a nod to our Weekly Webinar on physical exercise and brain health, and our research study COMET, which focuses on exercise, this week's Brain Booster questions are math challenges that are out of this world:

      1) Halley's comet was last seen from Earth 37 years ago in 1986. When can we expect it to see it from earth again?

      2) What is the pattern for these numbers?

      31, 59, 90, 120, 151, 181, 212, 243, 273, 304, 334, 365

      (Hint: a calendar will be helpful!)

      Bonus question: in what other years was Halley’s comet visible from earth?  We hope you’ll comet to tuning in to the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, May 11 for the answer!

       

      Answers:
      1. According to Caltech.edu, Halley’s comet will next appear in the night sky in 2062. It orbits the sun every 75 to 76 years.
      2. The pattern is every month, starting from January going to December. The numbers are the number of days in each month, and each time the pattern goes on, that number is added to the total. Here are the months’ number of days in order from January to December:

      31
      28
      31
      30
      31
      30
      31
      31
      30
      31
      30
      31

        (31+28 = 59; 59 +31 = 90; 90+ 30= 120; and so on)

         

        Bonus question answer: watch the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, May 11 to find out when else Earthlings have seen Halley’s comet!


        Week of May 1:

        Mayday! May Day! As we start a brand new month, you may have questions and concerns about sleep – how much is enough, how can you improve your sleep and what impact does sleep have on brain health? Check out and answer these brain boosting questions, then join us for the Weekly Webinar on sleep on Thursday, May 4 – may the fourth and the force of good sleep hygiene be with you!

         

        How many times a day is your body programmed to feel sleepy?

        1. 4
        2. 3
        3. 2
        4. 1

         

        What percentage of your sleeping hours are spent dreaming?

        1. 5 to 10%
        2. 20 to 25%
        3. 50%
        4. 75%

         

        11-13 hours of sleep per night is the optimal amount of sleep for which age group?

        1. Preschoolers
        2. Elementary schoolers
        3. Adolescents
        4. Adults

         

        Answers:
        1. C) 2 – Humans have two natural periods of sleepiness during a 24-hour day, no matter how much sleep we’ve had in the previous 24 hours. These periods are generally between 12:00 am  and 7:00 am and 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm
        2. B) 20 to 25%. On average, we spend about 2 hours dreaming each night, or 20 to 25% of a night’s sleep. Some researchers think dreams are merely a byproduct of sleep, and others believe dreams are important for mood regulation, problem-solving and stress reduction.
        3. A) Preschoolers. Most adults sleep 7 to 9 hours a night.

         

        Bonus Question: Set your alarm for 2:00 pm on Thursday, May 4 and join us for the Weekly Webinar and the answer to this question!

         Source: WebMD.com


        Week of April 24:

        Boosting your brain can help you with aging gracefully. Tackle tic tac toe using numbers instead of X and O.

         

        Arrange the numbers 1 through 9 on a tic tac toe board such that the numbers in each row, column and diagonal add up to 15.

        HINT: A Kansas City area code will help you put three of the numbers in the correct order!

         

        Answer:

         

        4            3            8

         

        9            5            1

         

        2            7            6

         

        (notice the 816 on the right vertical column!)

         


        Week of April 17:

        April is Volunteer Month! Besides joining us for the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, April 20 – a conversation with Paige Harding, Miss Kansas Volunteer, whose platform is Alzheimer’s disease – boost your brain by making as many (English) words as possible using the letters V O L U N T E E R.

        Answers:
        1. There are 230 English words possible using the letters V O L U N T E E R.

        How many did you get? This website lists them all.  


        Week of April 10:

        Sleep is the subject for this week, including some brain-boosting questions and the topic for our Weekly Webinar on Thursday, April 13. 

        Do you know the answers to these slumber stumpers?

        1. What common household appliance decreased the number of people who dream in black and white?
        2. Is it possible to sneeze in your sleep?
        3. True or false: humans are the only mammals that can delay sleep.
        4. Bonus question: which of these animals sleeps the most: a koala, an elephant, or a giraffe? (Tune in to the Weekly Webinar on Thursday, April 13 for the answer).
        Answers:
        1. The color television! Before color televisions started to arrive in U.S. homes in the 1950s, as many as 75% of people reported dreaming in black and white! These days, that number is about 12%.

        2. No! Read more here: https://www.healthline.com/health/can-you-sneeze-in-your-sleep#how-sleep-affects-sneezing

        3. True! Humans are able to keep themselves awake even when their bodies are telling them it is time to go to sleep. All other mammals have to go to sleep when their bodies feel the need.

        4. Bonus question: join our Weekly Webinar on Thursday, April 13 for the answer!

         


        Week of April 3:

        Look closely to answer this week’s Brain Booster: what is represented by the following?

        HANY
        HAEY
        HAEY
        HADY
        HALY
        HAEY

         

        Answer:

        A needle in a haystack

        HANY
        HAEY
        HAEY
        HADY
        HALY
        HAEY


        NEEDLE is in a stack of HAY.


        Week of March 27:

        Since 1933, March 30 of every year is designated as Doctors' Day, an opportunity for patients to show appreciation for physicians and the care they provide. 

        Besides boosting your brain, uplift your doctor by sending a thank you note!

        Now, answer this brain booster. Which of the following is true about doctors?

        A) A doctor first used anesthesia in surgery in 1842.

        B) Doctors' Day is a legal holiday in the United States.

        C) There are an estimated 700,000 doctors in the United States.

        D) All of the above.

        Answer:

        D) All of the above!

        Read more here: https://www.thereisadayforthat.com/holidays/usa/national-doctors-day


        Week of March 20:

        Follow these steps and see if you can figure this out. Hint: read the directions thoroughly before starting!


        1) Get a brown cardboard box.
        2) Get purple, orange and turquoise paints.
        3) Paint the box orange.
        4) Paint on purple spots.
        5) Paint on turquoise stripes.
        7) Turn the box upside down.
        8) Lie on your side.

        What is missing from this sequence?

        Answer:

        Step 6!


        Week of March 13:

        This weekend we moved our clocks ahead one hour to spring forward into Daylight Saving Time. Boost your brain by determining if these statements are true or false:

        1. True or False? Two US states do not observe Daylight Saving time. 
        2. True or False? Daylight Saving Time begins at the stroke of midnight on the appointed day.
        3. True or False? Farmers and department stores find great benefits in Daylight Saving Time.

         

        Answers:
        1. True – Hawaii and (parts of) Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

        2. False – Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 am local time – the idea is that most people will still be at home or even asleep for the night and most businesses will be closed.

        3. False – While department stores have found that more daylight is good for business because more people go shopping, farmers opposed it from the beginning because it wreaks havoc with their schedules, they have to wait for the dew to evaporate off the hay in the morning, regardless of what time it is, and it throws the cows off!


        Week of March 6:

        A 3-letter word has been taken out of each of the following words. Can you figure it out?

         _ _ _ AND

        B_ _ _ Y

        SI _ _ _ A

        F _ _ _ ET

        Answer: ERR

        ERRAND

        BERRY

        SIERRA

        FERRET


        Week of February 27:

        Tuesday, February 28 is National Science Day! Take on these Brain Boosters in honor of this momentous occasion:

        Question:

        1. If bananas were to have a chemical formula, what would it be? 
        2. What number do nickel and neon make when they're combined?
        3. You will find me in Mercury, Earth, Mars and Jupiter, but not in Venus or Neptune. What am I?

        Answer:

        1. BaNa2   
        2. NiNe (9)
        3. The letter R 

          Week of February 20:

          Question:

          During which month do people sleep the least?

          Answer:

          this one – February (it’s the shortest month!)

          Question:

          Four cars come to a four-way stop, all coming from a different direction. They can’t decide who got there first, so they all go forward at the same time. They do not crash into each other, but all four cars go. How is this possible?

          Answer:

          All of the cars made right turns.

          Question:

          You’re in a dark room with a candle, a wood stove and a gas lamp. You only have one match, so what do you light first?

          Answer:

          The match.


          Week of February 13:
          1. What did the volcanos say to each other on Valentine’s Day?
          2. Why are artichokes such a loving vegetable?
          3. Every student in a second-grade class sends a Valentine to each of the other students in the class, for a total of 306 valentines. How many students are in the class?

          Answer:

          1. I LAVA you!
          2. Because they have hearts!
          3. 18 (Each student sends a Valentine to every other student, meaning each study sends 17 Valentines. 18 x 17 = 306).

          Week of February 6:

          Each group of three definitions describes three words that are spelled the same, except for one letter (each group describes a different set of words). Example: king, ring, wing.

          Group 1:  a round shape; spoken; a gemstone.

          Group 2: highly skilled; to conform; to accept formally and to put in effect.

          Answer: 

          Group 1: oval, oral, opal

          Group 2: adept, adapt, adopt


          Week of January 30:

          A brain booster for cold weather: 

          It is known that water freezes from the top to the bottom. So, if you were to take a glass of water and put it in a freezer until it was half frozen, the bottom would not be frozen. 

          What would happen if you started to freeze the water in an upside-down glass? 

          Answer: You can't. The water would pour out of the glass long before it would freeze.


          Week of January 23:

          What is the common word among these four things? 

          1) 52 cards 
          2) Part of a ship 
          3) Popular Christmas song 
          4) Hit the _____!! 

          Answer:

          the word deck


          Week of January 16:

          1. Why is Europe like a frying pan?

          2. Forward, I am heavy; backward, I am not. What am I?

          Answer:

          1. Because it has Greece at the bottom.

          2. A ton. 

          Week of December 19:

          What 5-letter word typed in all capital letters can be read the same upside down?

          Answer:

          SWIMS


          Week of December 12:

          Two moms and two daughters went out for a holiday dinner.  Each ate one portion, yet only three portions were eaten in total.  How is this possible?

          Answer:

          It was a grandmother (who is also a mother), mother, and daughter who went out for a holiday dinner together. 


          Week of December 5:

          The age of a man is the same as his wife's age with the digits reversed. The sum of their ages is 99 and the man is 9 years older than his wife.
          How old is the man?


          Answer:

          The man is 54


          Week of November 28th:

          Four kids enter a classroom in Texas, each having moved there from a different state. The kids’ names are Allie, David, Gina, and Jake. Their last names are Forrester, Logan, Morgan, and Miller. They have moved from Nevada, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Arizona. Can you determine the first and last name of each kid and what state they moved from?

           Here are the clues.
          1. David is not from Arizona.
          2. The kid who has the last name Forrester is from North Dakota.
          3. Allie's last name is Miller.
          4. Gina's last name is NOT Logan and she is from Wisconsin.
          5. Jake's last name is NOT Morgan and he is NOT from North Dakota.
          6. The kid with the last name Morgan is from Wisconsin.
          7. The kid who's moved from Arizona last name is Miller.
          8. Jake is from Nevada but his last name is NOT Forrester.

          Answers:

          David Forrester has moved from North Dakota.
          Jake Logan has moved from Nevada.
          Gine Morgan has moved from Wisconsin.
          Allie Miller has moved from Arizona.


          Week of November 14th:

          Add together each of the defined words to get a whole new word.

          Example: to shout + what you say when you feel pain = a color = yellow.

          1) A light brown color + to leave = a dance.
          2) A store's announcement + a type of women's clothing = a building's location.
          3) A vehicle + an animal pal = a floor covering.
          4) The ocean + a father's boy = part of the year.
          5) Another name for dad + a yellow veggie = a white fluffy snack.

           

          Answers:

          1) tan + go = tango.
          2) ad + dress = address.
          3) car + pet = carpet.
          4) sea + son = season.
          5) pop + corn = popcorn.


          Week of November 7th:

          Jane is 34. Kevin is 11. Lucy is half as old as Jane but three years younger than Mike. Mike is 3 times as old as Greg. How old is Greg?

           

          Answer:  6.7 years old.


          Week of October 31st: 

          What’s more fun than a little riddle to put you in the Halloween spirit?!

          1. How do you fix a damaged jack-o’-lantern?
          2. What room will you never find in a ghost’s house?
          3. What is a mummy’s favorite type of music?

          Answers:
          1. You use a pumpkin patch
          2. The living room
          3. Wrap music


          Week of October 24th: 

          Here's a fun way to exercise different lobes of your brain.   Count the number of times the number "6" appears below.  Now count the total number of times a "3" or a "7" appears as you see them. (In other words, don’t just count all the “3“s, and then the “7“s; count both at the same time as you see either one.)  For example, the number of times a 3 or a 7 appear is this sample, "763537" is 4 times.

          1234467889974674657865876576576 
          3576573625432657346578436578342 
          2732188582735827456724687343828 
          7672878682768723682376783768267 
          2647648823178346432764876774653 
          7436574386581483627868653873465

          The important thing here is not so much to get the right answer, but to exercise your frontal and parietal lobes by trying.

          Answers: “6” appears 33 times, and the total times the numbers “3” and “7” appear is 59 times.


          Week of October 17th: 

          Below are pairs of words, and your goal is to find a third word that is connected or associated with both words. 

           

          For example, PIANO and LOCK. The answer is KEY. The word key is associated with both the word piano and the word lock: there are keys on a piano, and you use a key to lock doors. Key is what is called a homograph: a word that has more than one meaning but is always spelled the same.  

           

          Try your luck with the following words.

          1. SHIP and CARD
          2. SCHOOL and EYE
          3. PILLOW and COURT
          4. BED and PAPER
          5. Army and WATER

          Answers:

          1. DECK

          2. PUPIL (EXAM OR PRIVATE WILL ALSO WORK)

          3. CASE

          4. SHEET

          5. TANK


          Week of October 10th: 

          No answer is required, but here are a few quick brain boosters to exercise your attention and your working memory - the ability to keep information in your mind while manipulating multiple units of information at the same time.  Give them a try, it may not be as easy as it seems.


          1. Say the months of the year in alphabetical order. Too easy? Well, try doing so backwards, in reverse alphabetical order.
          2. Name two objects for every letter in your first name. Work up to five objects, trying to use different items each time.
          3. Look around you, wherever you are, and, within two minutes, try to find 5 red things that will fit in your pockets and 5 blue objects that are too big to fit.


          Week of October 3rd: 

          Quick! Count the number of times that the letter F appears in the following sentence:

           

          Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.”

           

          How many did you find?

           

          Answer: 6

          Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience oyears.” Most people will guess 3, missing all of the of’s.


          Week of September 26th: 

          Rebus puzzles use letters, images and/or numbers to depict words, phrases or common expressions. Can you solve the puzzles below? 

           

          Puzzle 1:  What phrase is represented by the following?

          Look kool XtXhXeXrXoXaXdX

           

          Puzzle 2:  Can you decipher this phrase?

          friends
          standing
          miss
          friends

           

          Puzzle 3:  What phrase does the following represent?

          @ (expenses > revenue) words words words words

          Answers

           

          Puzzle 1:  Look both ways before crossing the road.

           

          Puzzle 2:  Misunderstanding between friends

           

          Puzzle 3:  At a loss for words


          Week of September 19th: 

          There are five doors, one leads to the exit, the others lead to traps. They are in a line. The clues tell you which position the doors are in the line and where the door to freedom is. All the clues are true. Each door has a clue written on it. The clues read:

           

          The blue door: This door is two spots away from the door to freedom.

          The red door: This door is at the far right, and is two spots away from the blue door.

          The purple door: This door is not next to the door to freedom.

          The green door: This door is left of the blue door.

          The orange door: This door is not next to the red or blue doors.

           

          Which door leads to freedom?

           

          Answer:

          The orange door leads to freedom.


          Week of September 12th:

          Professor C. D. Rock ran out of teasers, so he went to Teaserville to buy some more. After arriving there he went to 6 different stores. He first went to the "Theater" to buy some teasers about movies. He then went to the "ER Hospital" to buy teasers about health, and the human body. Then he went to, in order, the "Art Center," the "Supermarket," and the "Energy Plantation." He then went to one last store. It was one of the following:

          A. Library
          B. High School
          C. Dance Arena
          D. Saloon
          E. Dog Pound
          F. Railroad Station
          G. Petting Zoo
          H. Carnival

          Can you figure out which place Professor C. D. Rock visited lastly?

           

          Answer:

          F. Railroad Station

          The first letter of each place he went to spells out the word "teaser."

          Theater

          Er Hospital

          Art Center

          Supermarket

          Energy Plantation

          Railroad Station


          Week of August 29th: 

          Gretchen and Henry were looking to buy a house together, and finally found one with a beautifully landscaped yard, plenty of bedrooms, and a beautiful tree out front. They asked the owner how old the house was, and this was his reply:

          "I planted that tree when the house was built. It was 7 feet tall at the time. It has grown 3 feet each year, and at the end of this past full year, it was four times its original height."

          "But how old is the house?" asked Henry.

          Gretchen said, "Don't be so dense. He just told us."

          So, how old is the house?

          Answer

          The house is 7 years old.
          The tree height is 28 feet, since it is four times its original height.

          To figure out the age of the tree, let x = age of the tree in years. The height of the tree is then 7 + 3x. Since we know that the tree is now 28 feet, we can say:
          28 = 7 + 3x
          21 = 3x
          7 = x

          So the tree must be 7 years old, making the house just as old.


          Week of August 22nd: 

          What do the following words have in common?

          feminine
          kindergarten
          canine
          overweight
          threaten
          cobblestone
          height
          done

           

          Don’t give up yet…Need a hint? You might find the answer in the end.

           

          Answer:  They all end with the spelling of a number.


          Week of August 15th:

          I am something people usually love or hate. I change people's appearances and thoughts. If a person takes care of themselves, I will go up even higher. To some people, I will fool them. To others, I am a mystery. Some people might want to try and hide me, but I will show. No matter how hard people try, I will never go down. What am I?

           

          Answer:  Age


          Week of August 8th:

          Take the given words, and by moving a single letter from one word to the other, make a pair of synonyms, or near synonyms. For example, given: Boast - Hip, move the 's' from 'Boast' to 'Hip' creating two synonyms: Boat - Ship.
           
          1. Inks - Tiles 
          2. Ride - Relive
          3. Gaze - Freed 
          4. Snail - Pike 
          5. Snag - Cold 

           

          Answers:

          1. Links - Ties

          2. Rid - Relieve

          3. Graze - Feed 

          4. Nail - Spike 

          5. Nag - Scold 


          Week of August 1st: 

          14 dogs in the kennel are poodles. Eight of the dogs wear blue collars. Two of the dogs are neither poodles nor wear blue collars. If five of the dogs are poodles that wear blue collars, how many dogs are in the kennel?

           

          Answer: 19

          14 poodles + (8 blue collars – 5 poodles with blue collars = 3 dogs with blue collars that are not poodles) + 2 dogs who are not poodles and are not wearing blue collars = 19 total dogs: 14 poodles and 5 dogs of other breeds.


          Week of July 25th:

          Can you determine what each group of three words has in common?

           

          Group 1:

          doughnut

          notebook

          golf course

           

          Group 2:

          turtle

          peanut

          oyster

           

          Group 3:

          brown

          polar

          Kodiak

           

          Group 4:

          cough

          tear

          rain

           

          Group 5:

          soap

          granola

          candy

           

          Answers:

          Group 1: they all have holes

          Group 2: they all have shells

          Group 3: they are all kinds of bears

          Group 4: they are all types of drops

          Group 5: they can all come in bars


          Week of July 18th:

          The fish market is selling several kinds of fish. But there aren't any prices listed. You ask about the prices, but the seller only tells you this:

           

          1. A pound of salmon and a pound of bass are $12.
          2. A pound of bass and a pound of swordfish are $10.
          3. A pound of salmon and a pound of swordfish are $8.
          4. A pound of swordfish and a pound of catfish are $5.

           

          Each price per pound is a whole-dollar amount.  How much is the price per pound for each find of fish?

           

          Answer:

          Salmon = $5 per pound
          Bass = $7 per pound
          Swordfish = $3 per pound
          Catfish = $2 per pound


          Week of July 11th:

          What is the only city with 3 dotted letters all in a row?

           

          Answer:

          Beijing


          Week of June 27th: 

          Unscramble each grouping of letters below to make individual words.

           

          BYRETIL
          UHOTRF
          CEBRUAEB
          RISWEKFOS

           

          Not great at spelling and/or need a hint?  Think upcoming holiday!

           

          Answers:

          Liberty

          Fourth

          Barbecue

          Fireworks


          Week of June 20th:

          Three people bought a pet one day. Their names were Zach, Rachel, and Hubert. The animals they bought were a snake, a parrot, and a guinea pig. They bought their pets for $100, $50, and $25.

          Can you figure out which person bought which animal for which amount of money using these clues?

          Zach is allergic to birds

          Hubert Couldn’t get the $100 pet, so he bought the snake.

          Rachel saved $10 a week for ten weeks so she could get her pet.

          The mammal was $25

           

          Answers:

          Zach – Guinea Pig - $25

          Rachel – Parrot - $100

          Hubert – Snake - $50


          Week of June 13th:

          An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, typically using all the original letters exactly once. Unscramble the 4 different anagrams below to form other words. The theme is sports.

           

          1. En Snit
          2. Scams Tying
          3. Flog
          4. Gob Nix

           

          Answers:

          1. Tennis

          2. Gymnastics

          3. Golf

          4. Boxing


          Week of June 6th:

          Can you determine what word is missing from those listed below?
          begin inch chapel elastic ____ cellar arisen end

           

          Answer:  ice - each word begins with the last two letters of the previous word


          Week of May 30th: 

          Use the clues given to find two words that rhyme and fit the description. For example, "an obese feline" would be a "fat cat."

          1. a good piece of pizza
          2. a weird ape
          3. a dinner party for wild animals
          4. a paw cover for a young cat
          5. a robber in charge
          6. a wealthy Halloween gal

          Answers:

          1. nice slice

          2. funky monkey

          3. beast feast

          4. kitten mitten

          5. chief thief

          6. rich witch


          Week of May 23rd: 

          A fly and a flea are trapped in a flue.

          How far must the fly and the flea fly to flee the flue?
          Said the fly to the flea 'to flee is some number times 3.'
          Said the flea to the fly 'but 3 squared is too high.'
          Responds the fly 'but it'll also do to have some number times 2.'
          'Agreed' said the flea. 'Then so it shall be.'
          So now it is up to you. How far must the fly and the flea fly to flee the flue?

          Answer:  6 units (pick your own)
          3 squared is too high, so we know it is less than nine. Since 3 and 2 are factors there is only one number less than 9 with that property.


          Week of May 16th:

          Roman numerals IX equate to the modern numeral 9. Roman numeral X is 10, and I is 1. When a smaller Roman numeral comes before a larger Roman numeral, it is subtracted from the larger.

          How can you make 6 out of the Roman numeral IX with one stroke?

           

          Answer:  SIX


          Week of May 9th:

          What word(s) or phrases are represented by each of the 3 puzzles below?

           

          Puzzle 1:

          S
          T
          ONE

           

          Puzzle 2:

          JG
          UN
          MI
          PP
          IM
          NU
          GJ
          Good
          New
          New

           

          Puzzle 3:

          Called Called Called Called
          Called Called Called Called
          Called Chosen Called Called
          Called Called Chosen Called
          Called Called Called Called

           

          Answers:

          1. Cornerstone

          2. Jumping up and down over good news

          3. Many are called but few are chosen


          Week of May 2nd: 

          Inside each of the following sets of words, there are a pair of smaller words. By putting “&” between them, lo & behold, you'll make a familiar phrase. For example, "Thighbone/Swallowtail" conceals "High & Low."

          1. Skyrocketing/Trolley
          2. Thermometer/Apoplexy
          3. Delaware/Bordering
          4. Surprised/Trashiness
          5. Throughout/Stumblebum

           

          Answers:

          1. Rock & Roll

          2. Mom & Pop

          3. Law & Order

          4. Rise & Shine

          5. Rough & Tumble


          Week of April 25th: 

          It’s baseball time!  Three men (Manny, Moe, and Jack) with last names Buchalter, Bowser, and Burkhart each play a different position on the baseball diamond (centerfield, catcher, and pitcher).

          Can you figure out the last name and position of each player?

          Clues
          1. Manny is the furthest away from the plate.
          2. Jack's last name has a repeated letter in it.
          3. Moe has to wear a lot of equipment.
          4. Manny has one letter in his last name that is within five letters from the end of the alphabet.

          Answer:

          Moe- Buchalter- catcher
          Jack- Burkhart- pitcher
          Manny- Bowser- centerfield


          Week of April 18th:

          Fiona is 4 years old. Hannah is 4 times as old as Sasha. Sasha is 5 years older than Fiona's cousin Andrew, who is 1 year older than Nick, Fiona's twin brother. How old is Hannah?

          Answer:  Hannah is 40 years old.


          Week of April 11th:

          We start with what a pen can write
          Then add an "s" for a tool of lesser might

          Change "d" to "n" for an oath professed
          Remove letter one for a condition no longer the best

          Change "w" to "t" for something forced apart
          Reverse my ends, then add an "h" for what's atop a chart

          Change "n" to "w" to learn how much an item can fetch
          Finally, anagram me for what in baseball may follow a stretch

          What did we start with?
          What do we end up with?

          Answer:

          Each line of this riddle is explained as follows:

          1. word - We start with - A "pen can write" a word.
          2. sword - Then add an "s" - "for a tool of lesser might" - This alludes to the adage: "The pen is mightier than the sword."
          3. sworn - Change "d" to "n" - "for an oath professed"
          4. worn - Remove letter one - "for a condition no longer the best" - If something is worn, then its condition has deteriorated.
          5. torn - Change "w" to "t" - "for something forced apart"
          6. north - Reverse my ends, then add an "h" - "for what's atop a chart" - Switch the first and last letters of "torn" giving "nort", then add an "h" giving "north". "North" (or "N" representing "North") is usually found at the top of a chart.
          7. worth - Change "n" to "w" - "to learn how much an item can fetch" - The worth, or value, of something will determine how much money it can get in exchange for it.
          8. throw - Finally, anagram me - "for what in baseball may follow a stretch" - "Throw" is an anagram of "worth". In baseball, the pitcher may throw the ball after a certain windup known as a stretch.


          Week of April 4th: 

          There are 4 clues below. Each clue is related to a type of candy. Try to figure out what each candy is. Good luck!

          1. The average worker loves this day.
          2. When actors or actresses get a little break.
          3. Think of the 4th planet from the sun.
          4. Also referred to as “geeks”.

          Answers:

          1. PayDay

          2. Take 5

          3. Mars Bar

          4. Nerds


          Week of March 28th 

          A group of children is standing in a circle. They are evenly spaced, and the 7th child is directly opposite the 18th child. How many children are there altogether in the circle?

           

          Answer:  22; in half of the circle there are 11 children because 18-7=11. Multiply 11x2=22!


          Week of March 21st

          There is a word in the English language in which the first two letters signify a male, the first three letters signify a female, the first four signify a great man, and the whole word, a great woman. What is the word?

          Answer: Heroine.


          Week of March 14th

          Below are two Rebus puzzles, which use letters, images, and/or numbers to depict words, phrases, or common expressions. Can you solve them?

           

          1) What are you, as represented by this Rebus? (All temperatures are Fahrenheit):

           

          You: 49 degreesCarrot: 87 degreesBroccoli: 31 degreesCucumber: 49 degreesCauliflower: 20 degreesLettuce: 56 degrees

           

          2) What phrase is represented by the following?111=EGROTG

           

           

          Answers:

          1. Cool as a cucumber

          2. Last one is a rotten egglast "1" (one) "=" (is) a "ROT" in "EGG" (rotten egg)


          Week of March 7th 

          Can you decipher the 3 musical instruments represented below?

          1. P O

          2. BA BA

          3. @ # $ %

           

          Answers:

          1. Piano (P and O)

          2. Tuba (Two BA)

          3. Cymbals (Symbols)


          Week of February 28th 

          A firefighter stood on the middle rung of a ladder, spraying water on a burning house. He then climbed up 6 rungs before the heat of the flames caused him to come down 10 rungs. After some minutes he was able to climb 18 rungs to the very top of the ladder. How many rungs did the ladder have?

          Answer:

          29 rungs
          The firefighter is standing on the middle rung. He climbs up 6 rungs, so he is now at Middle+6. He then goes down 10 rungs, so he is now at Middle-4.  He goes up 18 rungs, so he is now at Middle+14=Top. 14 rungs from the top, 14 rungs from the bottom and the middle rung. 14+14+1=29!


          Week of February 21st

          Reveal the quote by eliminating the letters of the alphabet that are not part of the quote. The unused letters go in alphabetical order from A-Z.

          ATBAKCEDCAERFEOGFHTIHEJMINKUTELSFOMRTHNEOPHOURQSWRILLTSATKEUCAVREOFWTHXEMSYELVZES

           

          Answer:

          TAKE CARE OF THE MINUTES FOR THE HOURS WILL TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES


          Week of February 14th

          Here’s a fun Valentine’s Day booster! Can you figure out the word behind each clue below by using only the letters found in the word VALENTINES to form the clue’s answer? (We’ll give you the first answer.)

          1. number between 8 and 10 = NINE
          2. To express anger or a heating duct opening
          3. A type of beverage served in a pub
          4. Lacking noise
          5. Foreign Language
          6. Goes away
          7. Opposite of odd
          8. Necessary to existence or well-being of something

           

          Answers:

          1. NINE

          2. VENT

          3. ALE

          4. SILENT

          5. LATIN

          6. LEAVES

          7. EVEN

          8. VITAL


          Week of February 7th 

          Someone has stolen Beethoven's Wig and has put it in one of four locked boxes. The boxes are numbered from 1,2,3,4 in that order. There are four different keys that each has their own color. Use the clues below to figure out which key goes in which box and to find the box where Beethoven's wig is being kept.

          1. The green key goes to the third or fourth box
          2. The wig is to the left of the fourth box
          3. The wig is to the right of the first box
          4. The yellow key is to the left of the wig
          5. The blue key is to the right of the yellow key and to the left of the green key
          6. The red key goes to the first box

          Answer:

          The wig is in the third box
          The red key goes to the first box
          The yellow key goes to the second box
          The blue key goes to the third box
          The green key goes to the fourth box


          Week of January 31st

          A homophone is one of two or more words that sound the same but have different definitions, for example new and knew. Can you determine the five pairs or trios of homophones using the clues given?

          1. turn over and over / part in a play

          2. sunlight / lift up / destroy

          3. catch waves / feudal laborer

          4. you climb these / looks fixedly

          5. comes from the sky / controls a horse / period of rule

          Answers:

          1. roll / role

          2. rays / raise / raze

          3. surf / serf

          4. stairs / stares

          5. rain / rein / reign


          Week of January 24th 

          Below are 6 sets of numbers, with each set consisting of 3 numbers. The relationship between the first two numbers is the same throughout every set.  The relationship between the last two numbers is also the same throughout every set, but it is a different relationship than the one the first two numbers share. Try and find the missing numbers:

          2 5 10
          3 10 20
          4 17 34
          5 __ __
          __ 37 __
          __ __ 100

           

          Answer:

          2 5 10
          3 10 20
          4 17 34
          5 26 52
          6 37 74
          7 50 100

          Relationship for first two numbers: square it, add 1 (2 squared=4, 4+1=5)
          Relationship for last two numbers: double it (5 doubled = 10)


          Week of January 17th

          The five words in the group below have something special in common.  They can be transformed into five new words by applying the same exact change to each word. What is the change and what are the resulting five new words?

          action
          allow
          lawless
          lower
          rail

          Answer:  The special thing these words have in common is that when each word is prefixed with the letter "f", the result is a new word that is completely unrelated in meaning to the original word, as follows:

          f + action becomes the word faction
          f + allow becomes the word fallow
          f + lawless becomes the word flawless
          f + lower becomes the word flower
          f + rail becomes the word frail


          Week of January 10th

          Rebus puzzles use letters, images and/or numbers to depict words, phrases, or common expressions. Can you solve the three puzzles below?  

           1)  ALLworld
           2)  023456789 lives ever ever ever ever
           3)  ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQUSTRVWXYZ

          Answers:

          1. Small world after all

          2. No one lives forever.

          3. You are out of order (the letters "U" and "R" have traded places; U R out of order).


          Week of January 3rd

          Four people arrive at a river with a narrow bridge that can only hold two people at a time. It’s nighttime and they have one torch that must be used when crossing the bridge. Person A can cross the bridge in one minute, B in two minutes, C in five minutes, and D in eight minutes. When two people cross the bridge together, they must move at the slower person’s pace. Can they all get across the bridge in 15 minutes or less?

          Answer: Yes, they can cross in exactly 15 minutes. The group of four must follow these three steps.

          1. First, A and B cross the bridge and A brings the light back. This takes 3 minutes.

          2. Next, C and D cross and B brings the light back. This takes another 10 minutes.

          3. Finally, A and B cross again. This takes another 2 minutes.


          KU Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

          KU Clinical Research Center
          4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway
          Mailstop 6002
          Fairway, KS 66205
          913-588-0555
          Email: kuadrc@kumc.edu